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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  August 1, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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progressives to somehow -- sometimes hold the president accountable? >> i think they should hold him accountable, but they could be honest. some of said even on this station, let's wait until after the election. that was a mistake. adam green, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> that's "the ed show." i'm reverend al sharpton in for ed schultz. you can catch me on msnbc live tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. eastern. thest after brilt yantly making the republicans look ridiculous at every stage of the negotiations, after slowly but surely educating the opinion about the importance of raising the debt ceiling and after turning voters sentiment against the republicans, in the end the president blinked. >> it's only monday. >> it could be a long night on capitol hill. >> here's how the deal got done.
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>> for now it looks like crisis varietied. >> friday the house passed boehner's bill and then the senate killed it. >> the house of representatives has passed speaker john boehner's twice revised budget control act. >> saturday harry reid tried to round out votes for his bill. >> the spectacle is going on over in the senate. >> republicans voted down the reid bill in the house before he could get a vote in the senate. >> bipartisan opposition to senator reid's proposal. >> michele bachmann used the house of representatives to make a campaign speech. >> guaranteeing insane republicans blank check. >> no plan to show leadership. tsk, tk. >> while democrats met with the president. >> i appreciate everybody's patience. >> on sunday the reid bill got a majority vote in the senate. >> we're waiting for a senate to vote. >> the but a majority was not enough. >> the senate stands in recess. object to the call of the chair. >> that was the holdup
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yesterday. >> there were more meetings. >> we'll have to take a look at that. >> hours and hours waiting. >> but on sunday night. >> the parties have come together. >> there is a framework. >> the president interrupted sunday night tv. >> the leaders of both parties in both chambers have reached an agreement. >> and now everyone's happy. >> i'm not happy with this deal. >> i'm not voting for this deal. >> the single worst piece of public policy. >> and his campaign staff finally told mitt romney what he thinks. >> he says he will not support this deal. >> oh. >> the united states house of representatives has just passed the largest deficit reduction package in history and the most
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ill-conceived and unfair deficit reduction package in history without having a single hearing on what is actually in the bill. without having a single hearing on how the spending cuts in the bill will affect the american people and without having a single hearing on how the spending cuts will affect the american economy. the bill is the product of a know-nothing house of representatives that flaunts it's economic i will literacy and that held hostage no congress before dared to tamper with, raising the statutory debt ceiling. a democratic president and democratic majority leader of the senate would never have agreed to the stupidest deficit reduction package in history if the stupidest republican congress in modern history had not taken the debt ceiling hostage. because it was the only way that they believed that they could find the way to raise the debt
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ceiling 95 house democrats including minority leader nancy pelosi voted in favor of the bill, along with 174 republicans including speaker john boehner who traditionally the speaker does not vote on legislation. during the vote the house of representatives applauded arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords who appeared in the capitol and cast her first vote since she was critically wounded in the january tucson shooting rampage. she voted in favor of the legislation. senate majority leader harry reid announced the senate has reached a unanimous consent agreement to do a roll call vote tomorrow at 12:00 noon. the bill is then expected to pass and head to the president's desk, where he said he will sign the legislation into law just hours before the united states would have defaulted on its obligations. the bill creates a bipartisan
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congressional committee to recommend by thanksgiving more savings, $1.3 trillion in savings over the next ten years. they spent today selling the compromise to progressives who said it cut too much and two tea party republicans who said it didn't cut enough. >> the truth of the matter is there is sort of a sort of damage thing hanging over everyone's head. we would default on the debt. >> neither side got what they wanted, but it's the essence of compromise. >> it gives us the best shot that we've had in the 20 years that i've been here to build support for a balanced budget amendment to the constitution to put the kind of fiscal handcuffs on this congress that are sorely needed. >> joining me now is barney frank of massachusetts, the ranking member of the house
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financial sftss committee. a very difficult day in the house of representatives. i've never seen a messier piece of legislation be brought to a vote there. tell us how you voted and why? >> the republicans came to power promising all of these procedural changes, openness, amendments, et cetera. there is not now a single republican procedure left unbroken. the way they said. imted to vote yes. i think a default puts a lot of pain on the people least able to deal with. i don't see to see the tea party succeed in its canmpaign to degrade the government. i saw the details.
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the bill puts caps on military spending and caps on dikdz spending, but it exempts from any cap at all spending for iraq and afghanistan. now, that's well over $100 billion a year. i can't vote to give a blank check for spending in afghanistan, and then can you tell important programs for police and fire on the streets of the cities i represent. it also said, look, when we go forward, we have a 50/50 split in cuts between the mill father and nonmilitary. i was for that. we overspent on the military. when i read the specifics, that 50/50 split was only for the first two years. for the next eight years there was no guarantee the military would overdo it. finally in the health care bill we put some cost savings into medicare. on top of that it will cut 2%. they're already at the margins and if you cut access to individuals who may not be able to get a doctor.
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you also cut hospitals, and frankly hospitals are an important source of employment for people trying to get into the economy. so i did want to vote for it. i couldn't vote for a bill which exempted spending for afghanistan and iraq, and i didn't sufficiently limit military spending. >> congressman frank, there is a report in the huffington post that the vice president told house democrats that the white house was indeed considering using the 14th amendment if it it came to that, if it was stuck and there was nothing coming from the congress to the white house to raise the debt ceiling. did you hear the vice president say that? can you confirm that for us? >> no. i think that's people hearing more than he said. he did say he did not think it would be even possible to think about it unless there was a dire emergency. so in other words, he wasn't saying that the president would have used it in that case. i guess he was saying a dire emergency would be a necessary
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condition for invoking it, but maybe not sufficient. i must tell you, i think that invoking the 14th amendment would have played into the effort to delegitimatize democracy in the government. it's important to have consistency to principle. i've been very critical of the overempowering the executive under george bush, and unfortunately the military area, president obama has done a little bit of that. this would be a great increase in executive power about which i wanted to be more careful than some of my friends. >> congressman frank, we go to the question of the composition of this super committee that will be created, and it's -- it's equally divided between democrats and republicans and equally divided between the house and senate. there is a third branch of government that is not included. why isn't the vice president an additional the 13th member of this super committee or the secretary of the treasury, some
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member of the bush -- the obama administration since they do have through the veto power a voice in these single largest vote in what the outcome is of this legislation? >> because the president felt and i disagreed in the end and i understood the mistakes that it was important to avoid a default. clearly, the republicans would not agree to a democratic majority on that committee. i wish that weren't the case, but that's the reason. if we had the votes to do that, we wouldn't have to go through the whole charade. it's more than a charade. if we had the votes to do that, we would have had the votes to do what is logical, what ronald reagan understood. a clean debt limit increase. here's the problem, lawrence. we have a group of people who did very well in the last election and who have because of the fears of other republicans -- they're not all tea party republicans, but they're also afraid of a tea party republican party. we have people controlling the
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republican party who want to tear down the government. that puts us in a difficult situation. people ready to cause a wreck and say no get a certain advantage in the negotiations. that's unfortunately part of the game theory. we were not prepared. joe biden talked about the story of king solomon and he solved his problem by saying i'll cut the baby in half, and the true parent said don't cut did in half. i'll give in. to some extent the president and we were in that situation. we're the parent of the notion that we can come together as civilized people and do things, put out fire, educate children and help the very poor. you have the people ready to cut the baby in half. unfortunately, they had a little bit of an advantage. that's why the whole thing got into it. if we had the votes to have a 7-6 commission instead of a 6-6, then we would have had the votes to dispense the whole rigmarole and go right to a clean debt limit. >> is the quickest summary of
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why of democrats compromised as much as they did here is because they believed the republicans are as crazy as they say they are? >> yes. by crazy i mean it's composed of two elements. one, sheer ignorance, ignorance of the consequences of a default. if there's a default, the richer you are the les it will hurt you. the more money you have saved up the less you're damaged. i voted against this because it it went too far. it's the most vulnerable people. the members of progressive black caucus were concerned, and of course many voted against it for the reasons i did. some of them are just ignorant of the effects. others don't understand that the private sector can only do so many things. the tax cuts don't put out fires. you don't want to give your children too much debt but you don't want to give them bridges that fall part, water that's too dirty.
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you don't want children running around homeless. they don't believe in that. there is a disbelief in government. now, the one good thing about this is it sets up an important debate for next year, which is this. we consider next year we let the bush tax cuts expire for the very wealthy or we make severe cuts in transportation and education. it's time for the person people to decide. if they want a doesn't level of services, we have to have in addition to more constraints and more revenue meaning taxes. $3 per 1,000 for every dollar you make over 250,000. that versus cuts in education and cuts in health care and cuts for the homeless and medical care. that's a debate we have to have next year. >> congressman barney frank of massachusetts. thank you for joining me on this difficult day in the house of representatives. coming up, what happened behind the scenes as congresswoman gabrielle giffords returned to the capitol for the first time since she was shot in january?
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and bill maher is in the rewrite tonight. bill rewrites america's understanding of socialism. energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing decades of cleaner burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment we are america's natural gas. not a mammal in this household is willing to lay claim to its origin. but now is not the time for blame. now is the time for action. ♪call 1-800-steemer.
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coming up, everyone can find something they hate in this deal. is this anything good in it for the president and democrats? later the one thing that had democrats and republicans cheering on the house floor. the return of gabby giffords.
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now for a closer look at the deficit reduction agreement and
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its impact. president obama got what he said was most important to him and most important to the economy, an agreement to increase the debt limit through the 2012 election. the republicans got what was most important to them. an agreement with no new tax revenue in it it. here are the other key elements of the deal. the agreement includes more than 900 billion in spending cuts over the next decade, although only 22 billion of those cuts would go into effect in the first year. more than one-third of the 900 billion in cuts come from defense spending. there are no cuts to medicare, medicaid, and social security in the agreement. the agreement called for a special joint committee of 12 members of congress, three from each party from the house and the senate, to make recommendations for an additional 1.5 trillion in deficit reduction before thanksgiving of this year. those recommendations will be
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guaranteed a vote in the house and senate before christmas. that deficit reduction can include tax revenue, and according to the white house, it should include tax revenue. the balanced approach the president has called for. if the super committee is deadlocked and can't make recommendations to congress or voted down by congress, automatic spending cuts will be triggered. 50% from domestic spending and 50% from defense spending with medicare, medicaid and social security protected from any triggered spending cuts. republicans believe the draconian spending cuts and domestic spending cuts that would be triggered are incentive enough for democrats on the super committee to come to an agreement, and democrats believe that the triggering of sharp defense cuts is an incentive to force republicans on the super committee to reach an agreement. the white house seems to believe that the scheduled expiration of
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the bush tax rates on democrcem 31st, 2012 is another incentive for republicans to reach a reasonable agreement on deficit reduction. >> if it fails to reduce something will honor his promise to veto any legislation to extend the tax cuts beyond 2012, which would create nearly a trillion dollars in revenue raisers when that happens. >> it absolutely makes no sense. i hope i don't get myself tangled up in it. what the white house and media seem to not understand about that is that the president will never, ever have a chance to veto legislation that would extend only the bush top tax bracket. no democrat or republican has
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offered or will ever offer a bill that extends only the bush top tax rate. if such a bill were offered and passed in both bodies, which will never happen, the president would veto it. the president's firm veto threat you heard is for a mythological tax bill that no one has ever suggested and no one will be in favor of. republicans want to maintain all of the bush tax rates including the bottom one, not just the top tax rate. democrats and the president want to maintain all of the bush tax rates except the top bush tax bracket. that is what the president campaigned on in his presidential came takpaign and s what he achieved last december and the game of chicken on the tax breaks comes down to this. if congress takes no action all of the bush tax rates expire and
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every tax bracket including the bottom tax bracket will go up to 15%. they will all go up. so far the president and democrats are more favor in preserving the lower bush tax brackets than they are in favor of raising the top tax bracket. that and only that is why the president didn't raise the top tax bracket back in december. that is why legislatively he will never be offered a stand-alone opportunity to do nothing but raise the top bush tax bracket. until the president decides that if necessary in order to get the top income tax bracket raised he is willing to see of tax bracket go up, then the republicans will always, always win. the fight to extend the bush tax rates.
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joining me now is msnbc contributor jared bernstein, the former chief economist to vice president biden and senior fellow at the center of policies. and bob greene sds stein. thank you for joining me tonight. bob, i'm waiting for your analysis of this bill. i know this is a hard assignment for you because it came out so quickly. it's the most rushed giant package especially in deficit reduction territory. give me your take on what we're looking at here. >> you pointed out our take an hour or two ago. lawrence, i'm reminded of the sitcom "the life of riley" where the main character says what a revolting development this is. the tea party, i think, did very well here. this is a package are large spending cuts and no revenues. now, to be sure, the joint
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special committee, which is charged with coming up with $1.5 trillion in savings by thanksgiving, could raise revenue, but speaker boehner has already said he will not name a single republican to the committee who would vote to raise any revenue. i think it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that the joint committee will fail. there's no way democrats on the committee are going to agree to 1.5 trillion in entitlement cuts. that's what boehner and the republicans want. you remember that when boehner and the president a couple weeks ago were negotiating a deal that raised the medicare age and increased medicare cautionary charges, medicaid cuts affected social security cost of living adjustment, all those things combined produced about $650 billion in entitlement cuts. this committee is supposed to come up with 1.5 trillion. if boehner will not allow -- if
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the republicans will not allow any revenue to be on the table for the joint committee and they say they won't, there's no way the democrats on the committee will agree to 1.5 trillion of entitlement and a deeper domestic cuts. the joint committee will fail, and we will be set up for these big across the board cuts to kick in in january 2013 and we will fight about this throughout the entire election year in 2012. the outcome is in doubt at this point. >> there is nothing stupidier than indiscriminate nature across the board cuts. jared, take us to the larger economic impacts of this. here we are in a very fragile economy where our economic growth is worse than we thought it was and the actual recession was deeper than we thought it was. we're pulling money out of the economy now. one of the good news items seems to be only 22 billion is coming
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out in the first year when the economy will be most fragile. what do you see as the overall economic impact here? >> first of all, on a somewhat positive note, the economic impact of putting the debt ceiling and a potential default behind us is obviously clearly to the good. now, that's sort of like saying it feels prael good i'm not banging myself in the head with this hammer anymore, because that was completely self-imposed hysteria. you're right about the magnitude of the cuts in 2012. 21 or 22 billion, about twice that in 2013 in terms of reduced outlays. and that's a relatively small part of the story. i think what's much more worrysome are the things bob was getting at and in particular what you heard barney frank talk about. the people who are going to get stung by this, especially in the out years when the cuts get larger and if bob's scenario is true, the trigger kicks in and
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you have the indiscriminate sequester cuts go into effect are people that have a tough time when the economy is doing better. by the way, most forecast for the economy to be in a slug a few years out. if you're worried about kids, education, innovation and infrastrushlinfr infrastructure and the precise kinds of investment that make this economy recovery improve, this is a very tough bill when you get out a few years. >> jared, you were in the white house when this election night happened in 2010 that i think sort of preordained everything we've seen happen this year. did they have a meeting the next day, the day after the election that was about the debt ceiling? i mean, on election night i knew the debt ceiling was going to be the most difficult thing we'd see this year. when did they start strategyizing how to handle the debt ceiling? >> probably not soon enough. i do recall that after that election there was the beginning of a very important shift in
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emphasis away from the recovery and jobs and trying to kind of plant the seeds of something that would make a difference on the economic side and much more concern about what the electorate at least an interpretation what the electorate was telling us in the midterms. we want you to cut spending and reduce the deficit. i think the beginning of the pivot we saw dramatically began then. one of the big opportunity costs of this debate is that for the past couple of months and especially the past few weeks as the economy has been deteriorating we've not been talking about jobs, about the economy, about paychecks, about what really matters to people. so that's a problem that began back then. >> bob, it seems to me that the only way that the president might be able to get revenues discussed in this super committee, which as you've identified boehner has promised they would be nothing but anti-tax republicans on it, is for the president to actually come around and say, okay. if it comes to it, i am prepared
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to allow all, all tax rates to go up paubecause that's the onl position he can take that's threatening to where the republicans are playing the tax game now. >> and his republican opponents in the presidential race would love him to say that, and then they'll beat him up for raising taxes on the middle class. lawrence, i think what this deal does is sets up a massive showdown for the lame duck session after the presidential election in 2012. think about it. the across the board cuts will take effect in january 2013, not 2012. so here we are. we're in november/december 2012. the bush tax cuts expire at end of the year. these huge across the board cuts are scheduled to kick in in january, and the debt ceiling, we hit it again in january 2013. huge showdown. that's probably when the big confrontation and the big
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decisions will be made. >> bob greenestein, president of the center of budget and policy priorities and jared bernstein, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> you're welcome. >> coming up we look at who the political winners and losers are in this deal and what the voters will remember about all of this next year. congresswoman gabrielle giffords surprised a lot of people on the house floor. not with her vote. just by being there. [ jelani ] neither of my parents went to college.
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still to come this hour, the politics of the debt ceiling deal. and tonight it's bill maher's turn to explain to you why we're all socialists now. that's in the rewrite.
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look at it! it's doing over a million different things right now. metamucil. ask more of your fiber. i believe we need a balanced approach. i believe we need a balanced approach. it is possible for us to construct a package that would be balanced. we've got the american people who agree with that balanced approach. i continue to believe that a package that is balanced and actually has serious debt and deficit reduction is the right way to go. we can do it in a balanced way that doesn't hurt anybody badly. that doesn't put the burden just on one group. this balanced approach asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much. >> the president gave up his balanced approach that would
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include tax revenue in order to get a deal with the republicans in the end. in the spotlight tonight, the language used to describe the debt ceiling negotiations has gone way beyond mere winners and losers. instead, you hear talk about how hostages, terrorists, extortion, casualties. emmanuel cleaver from missouri tweeted this gooel deal is a sugarcoated satan sandwich. if you lift the bun, you will not like what you see. the american people offered up their own subscriptiodescriptio poll. it asked if you had to use one word to describe your impression of the budget negotiations in washington, what would that one word be? the top picks? ridiculous, disgust, disgusted, stupid, stupidity, frustrating, poor, terrible, disappointing, disappointment, disappointed, childish, joke, messy, pathetic,
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confusing, crazy bad, sucks, sad, bull crap, bull. and i cleaned up that last word. will voters reward anyone for the debt ceiling deal? joining any now are ari melber and jonathon alter, nbc political analyst and author of "the promise." what do you see here as a possible win on the democratic side and for the president on this? >> first of all, i think both the president and john boehner are in the loser categories here. folks out there are saying the hell with all these guys. it's a very bad deal for washington in general, and boehner and obama represent washington. so they're losers. but in terms of the parties, i think the republicans lost more in this whole exchange than the democrats because they were, you know, pretty accurately and consistently portrayed as an
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extremist party. the polling shows that they're off the rails. if presidential elections are about capturing the center, this wasn't so bad for the democrats. >> the president's instincts were good on how to handle somali pirates when they took hostages, but here the president new he was dealing with a hostage taking and never came out and said, okay. these are the limits. this is what i will not allow you to do in this hostage taking, and i didn't get what i saw which was real serious veto threats and if necessary an actual veto including today because they are empowered in both bodies at last minute to pass it quickly. i announced at the beginning of the show that harry reid is moving this bill tomorrow by the unanimous consent of the senate. chuck schumer says senate rules
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make it go slowly. that means rand paul has given his unanimous consent to allow this debt ceiling thing to do because he knows it has to go. it seems to me there was more of a veto threat possibility here for the president to wield earlier in this process to avert what is happening to them now. >> i think that's right. you can do a veto threat and a demonstration if you believed they were really going to do this, if the republicans were going to make this country default, which is a claim now that has become something of a conventional wisdom although i to this day doubt whether in the final hours that would happen. if you believe that the only responsible thing to do is to plan for it, to do what any ceo would do, get ahead of the deadline. the president could have come out a month ago and said he's going to start withholding social security checks for the top 5% income earners as a preventive measure to start closing the national parks one
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day a look and closing air traffic controller use that's a federal program imperative for our security and safety in the air, but it might be something to scale back to free up the funds to deal with the situation. any one of those things, i think, would have hit people at a gut level as a bottom line reality more than just having the bachelorette interrupted for 20 minutes while the president says it's about to get bad so i'm going to prevent it. don't worry too much. i don't blame the president for that stwagituation. blame the republicans for going that close. i think the timing could have been very different for the chief executive. >> we have nbc "wall street journal" polling, if it's ready. we can put it up on the screen. it tracks through the years starting in january with a rutgers poll. 70% of the public against raising the debt ceiling. the president took on an education campaign and stayed at it relentlessly.
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we got it to the point that by july the president convinced the country that yes, the debt ceiling needed to be raised. when those polls actually added to the respondent the information about what the debt ceiling actually was, the numbers went higher. jonathan, the president had succeeded in the education he needed to give to the public. he succeeded in turning the public against the republicans' position on excluding tax revenue, and yet he never stepped up and issued what would have been the necessary veto threats in order to get his position forced into this final agreement. >> i'm not sure that the veto threats would have been that credible, given the deadline, given the timing. they're a million monday-morning quarterbacks. haft i historians will wonder whether he should have taken the 14th amendment off the table. that would have been a good hammer over their heads in negotiations. there was no reason to tha that off the table.
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there are tactical errors you can point to. i'm actually more interested in what's going to happen now. between now and september 15th, this super committee is going to be named. these hearings will be public. this will be one of the most famous or perhaps infamous committees in the entire history of the united states congress. we're going to be arguing about these points from now until christmas, which will prevent us from pivoting to jobs, unfortunately. so this is the beginning of something, not the end of something. >> jonathon alter and ari melber. thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thanks a lot. >> coming up, it was the moment congress probably needed. the return of gabrielle giffords a mere seven months after being shot to cast her vote today. ♪
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first "newsweek" did a cover story tells us we're all socialists now. i on this program have made that case. now bill maher has done it. no one, no one can make the case more entertainingly than bill maher. he will do that for us. the rewrite is next. my desktop. launch my watchlist -- a popping stock catches my eye. pull up the price chart. see what the analysts say. as i jump back, cnbc confirms what i thought. pull the trigger -- done. i can even do most of this on my smartphone. really, it's incredible. like nothing i've ever experienced. unleash your investing and trade free for 60 days with e-trade.
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time for tonight's rewrite. tonight's guest rewriter is friend of show, by maher, who added a new twist. it was first vealed in the
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mainstream immediate why in 2009 by "newsweek" when it ran a cover story entitled "we are all socialists now." i have called myself a socialist since i first read the definition of socialism in the first economics class i took in college. what "newsweek" and i mean is not that we choose the socialist options every time, but we do consider socialism a reasonable option under certain circumstances, in fact under many circumstances. as any introductory economics course can tell you, there is no capitalist economy anywhere in the world, and there is no socialist economy anywhere in the world. not even cuba. we are all mixed economies. that is, mixes of capitalism and socialism, and we all vary that mix in different ways. china has more capitalism and a lot more capitalism than cuba, but it also has a lot more socialism than we do. our socialist programs including
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the biggest government spenlding program, social security, medicare, medicaid as well as welfare and the socialist program i hate and the social pi hate the most, agriculture subsidies. yes, i'm a socialist but i hate bad socialism and there is plenty of bad socialism out there. just as there is bad plenty of capitalism out there. like the capitalism that pollutes our rivers or makes health care too expensive for so many people. i can argue every side of this because every side of this is true. capitalism is good. capitalism is bad. socialism is good. socialism is bad. all of those things are true at the same time. that's why we have a mixed economy. an economy in which we are trying to use the best, most official forms of capitalism and the best, most efficient forms of socialism where necessary. so, my full trut is, i'm as much
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a capital itself as i am a socialist but since we live in the only mature country in the world where social ist is considered so dirty word that no one dare admit to being one, i feel more compelled to stand up for the socialist side of me than the capitalist side of me. but enough about me. it's bill maher's turn month the "rewrite" where he takes his turn trying rewrite america's understanding of socialism. >> new rule, it's time to stop fighting it and just come out of the closet and the group i'm talking about is the american public and the love they are denying is their love of socialism. [ applause ] yes, americans say they hate socialism but when it comes to social security, medicare, unemployment, fannie mae and freddie mac, corporate welfare, bailouts and farm sub sid dis, what we really say to socialism is i can't quit you. or take michelle and marcus bach
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man or as i like to think of them america's indoor mail palins. yes, the bachmann's tireless advocates of cutting people off from the government tit. turns out they live on the tit. their farm takes subsidies their counseling clinic takes medicaid and their mortgage was underwritten by freddie mac and that is what is so hard of being a closet lover of big government. you have to lie to yourself. that's why i'm here with a special message for all of you deniers. it gets better. yes, there are millions of people in the world like you, in places like switzerland and sweden. where their tax dollars they get full health care coverage, a generous pension, day care,
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long, paid vacations, maternity leave, free college and public transportation that doesn't smell like pea. they get university l universal health care. we get a blue angels fly over at the fiesta bowl. they get paid maternity leave. we get the octomom. they have airbus. we have the bus. isn't there anything we still do better? even their paranoid, racist loaners look like speed skaters. and ours look like porky pigs.
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we all want to welcome back our wonderful colleague,
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congresswoman giffords here. [ applause ] >> a warm bipartisan reception for arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords who made a surprise return to the house floor tonight to cast her vote in support of the debt ceiling deal. joining me now, from captiol hill, nbc's luke russ certificate. you were in the house chamber in the press gallery at the time. what was it like to be in the chamber when she was acknowledged. >> it was an amazing heart-felt moment. there was not a dry eye in the house. it was a truly special -- in the sense this debate about the debt had brought out the cynicism that plagues this country, especially this city. both sides are going at each other in the most heated of ways. the republicans and democrats
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had no unity at all throughout the process especially toward the end. reporters were especially drained. as i said to one person, we didn't know there was a deal going. almost a front row seat to our country destructing but gabrielle giffords walks through the doors and immediately all of the turmoil, all the stress and anger and animosity just went away immediately and people from both sides just understood the gravity of the moment and how amazing it was. that here is somebody who was shot in the head and came back to washington to perform the duty which she was elected to do by her constituents to exercise her power to vote and participate in democracy. it made the other things that had so 0 encompassed the capitol and d.c. and american politics seem very small. even if it was for ten minutes when everyone gave her a standing ovation. it was a special moment. there were tears in republican and democrats eyes. john lewis, it harkins back to
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the civil rights movement seen his fair share of violence, hugged gabrielle giffords and immediately teared up and hugged nancy pelosi afterwards. and speaker boehner greeted her privately off to the side of the floor. nancy pelosi and debbie wasserman schultz kept it a state secret. it certainly was to to turn in to a wonderful absolute surprise considering all that has gone on in terms of partisanship. >> the headline of has been giffords returns, not the house of representatives just passed the biggest definite reduction package in history over a lot of democratic opposition. who knew this was going to happen and did they know it was going to bigger news than the vote count in the